A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.

We will create a business with the goal of providing an environmentally friendly means of controlling Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) infestations in Vermont Lakes. The EWM problem is solvable, but only if we utilize strategies based on ecological science — high energy, brute force methods will never solve the problem, especially in the long term. MiddSTART funding will provide crucial seed money for equipment acquisition and advertising.

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Dollars Raised: 107%

Funding Details

Deadline: Mar 01, 2013
Total needed: $1,350


Austin Ritter '12.5, Biology Baltimore, MD
Greg Dier '12.5, Economics and Political Science Brandon, VT


Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive-exotic plant introduced throughout North America.  Once established in a lake, EWM populations explode, inhibiting recreation, displacing native plant communities, and altering fish and invertebrate communities. Typically, mechanical mowing and chemical herbicides are used as control methods.  At best these methods provide only short-term relief. Further, they can have negative effects on non-target plants and animals.

But there is hope!  Middlebury’s Dr. Sheldon has discovered a native species of Weevil thatfeeds on EWM and developed a method to efficiently grow and distribute populations of weevils.  We want to utilize this discovery in order to control EWM in VT lakes by growing Weevils and establishing healthy populations in infested lakes.  Over a decade’s worth of research has proven that this is a safe and effective method, providing lasting, efficient milfoil control.

We are in the process of creating a website that will contain more information and updates on our stages of development.  The website will be posted here and updates emailed to donors.

10 Responses to “Milfoil Management”

  1. Greg says:

    We’ve had a busy couple of months presenting to lake associations across the state, surveying the local plant life and analyzing samples in the lab. Check out a couple pictures below from our recent survey dive in Lake Carmi (up on the Canadian border).

    Special thanks to our most recent donors! Donations are especially appreciated now that we are working to sign lakes on for next summer and are looking for funds to buy lab equipment!


  2. Greg says:

    Our revamped website: http://www.milfoilmanagement.com (Screenshots below)

  3. Greg Dier says:

    We have a couple meetings set up with lake associations for the end of the summer! This is when we could really use start up funds! We are looking to help cover our start up costs including legal and accounting fees as well as some important equipment. Every little bit helps. Thank you!

  4. Austin Ritter says:

    We had a wonderful time at The Federation of VT Lakes and Ponds Annual Meeting On Monday. Check out the blog (http://www.milfoilmanagement.com/news.html) to hear all about it

  5. Austin Ritter says:

    We had a wonderful time at the The Federation of VT Lakes and Ponds Annual Meeting on Monday. Check out the blog (www.milfoilmanagement.com/news) to hear all about it.

  6. Greg Dier says:

    Hello donors! We could really use your support while we get the business off the ground! While Austin has been working diligently on optimizing our treatment process I’ve been working to get our accounting and operational materials in line. Feel free to post any questions you may have about the business.

  7. Elizabeth Robinson says:

    Good luck to the team!!! Liz R

  8. Austin Ritter says:

    Our website is up and running! http://www.milfoilmanagement.com

    We hope to add lots more content soon, including blog posts to keep donors updated.

  9. Gregory Dier says:

    Thank you to our first donors!

    Here is a link to the lake association federation meeting we will be attending in July:

  10. Greg Dier says:

    We are currently in the process of drafting an operating agreement and registering as an LLC in Vermont! Anything you can donate would really help us get this project off the ground. We’re hoping to have all of our business matters taken care of before we start meeting with Vermont lake associations in July.

    Feel free to post any questions you may have about Milfoil Managment below. Austin or I will respond to them as quickly as possibly.



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